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#469276 - 07/31/13 05:48 AM The Future Of Your Garbage
Marty Offline
For over 3 years, Belize City residents have been plagued by the conditions at the Garbage Dump Site at mile 3 on the Western Highway.

It is a topic which made the news very regularly when the situation got out of control, but tonight, the news is that the dump site is now a model of proper waste disposal.

Today, it was reopened by the Solid Waste Management Authority after being complete remodeled and 7News was there.

Daniel Ortiz has that report.

Daniel Ortiz reporting
The Belize City Dump site has been a huge problem for years. You may remember that consistently since 2009, the site has been a health hazard because of recurring fires.

Gilroy Lewis - Project Director, Solid Waste Management Authority
"If you will recall, here where we stand is the great Belize City dump site. A place where fires became an annual event; an event that we seemed unable to control and perceived as inevitable every time the Easter comes around. Every time when it's dry season, we have some tremendous fires out here, the media is here, even in helicopters and so on and so on; that's changed now with the Belize transfer station."

Nolan Michael - Chairman, Solid Waste Management Authority
"Three and a half years ago, we had an open garbage dump site, three and a half years ago, that opened dump site was situated within a few hundred yards of the Caribbean Sea, and within a few hundred yards of other natural water bodies passing in the Belize City area. Three and a half years ago, the Belize City was engulfed in toxic smoke from the burning of that open dump site. Three and a half years ago, garbage from that site had encroached onto the George Price Highway."

Dion Leslie - Councilor, City Hall, Sanitation
"Belize City residents remember that almost every year, it was a seasonal thing of where the dump site would catch on fire and maybe not due to human error or due to natural causes, but it was costly, to the Belize City council. The last major fire that we had, two to three four years ago, cost approximately close to a million dollars."

That was in addition the fact that the garbage was not being effectively managed and it was terror to the residents in its near vicinity due to the putrid odors, and the stifling possibly toxic smoke whenever it caught on fire. That's all in the past now, and today the location has been completely revitalized and remodeled to be the envy of other municipalities when trying to responsibly deal with the city's waste. It is now a transfer station where all your garbage makes a stop only to separate the useful components.

Gilroy Lewis
"This 600 square meter of transfer station will receive garbage collected from household, commerce, business institutions and non processed industrial waste."

Tyrone Chimilio - Communications Officer, Solid Waste Management Authority
"What we have here is the Belize City transfer station, what happens when the trucks come in, the compartment truck is going to tip the load on the floor, and what will happen there, is that the informal workers within the station, they're going to separate the waste into paper, plastics and whatever else that is there. The residual garbage that is there, we have what we call a front end loader. After the waste is sorted, we'll come and pick up the residual garbage and it's going to take it through the hopper; when it's through the hopper, it goes into a forty foot container trailer, and when that is full, that will be taken up to original sanitary land fill at mile 24 on the George Price Highway."

And the city residents, who used to scavenge in the site to fight waste that could be valuable, will be properly employed, and they will get to work under better conditions doing the same jobs that they’ve been doing for years.

Tyrone Chimilio
"The informal workers, we refer to them as scavengers - but they're needed and that they will do, they will come in and when the waste is tipped on the floor, they'll just separate the plastics, the organic matter, the papers and whatever else is hazardous waste material. They will have an actual job to go through the whole social security system and be covered so the project is beneficial. You can actually see the maturation of our waste management practices that we have here in Belize and this transfer station is the evidence of that."

Gilroy Lewis
"The administrative building is equipped with reception area, staff offices, kitchenette, meeting room and bathroom facilities and this end of the administrative building, we have bathrooms facilities for field workers, male and female equipped with showers and lockers so that whenever they are finished working here at the transfer station, they could go into their facility and then take a shower, change up and go home."

The day to day operations will be done by the company called PASA. They will manage the Transfer Station, and they will monitor the informal workers as the garbage is being sorted into the different groups of recyclables and non-recyclables.

Ariel Mitchell - Representative, PASA Belize Limited
"With the recyclables, we haven't really worked out all the details but we will either the company PASA Belize will buy it from the people who are sorting out the garbage or we will have the people who they are selling to right now, pay them for it but that is just an opportunity for us to give legitimate employment to people who are presently doing the same work but this time under more hygienic conditions."

Mitchell also explained PASA’s stake in the entire operations

Ariel Mitchell - Representative, PASA Belize Limited
"The arrangement is that the solid waste management authority, will pay PASA based on tonnage, we will base on every ton of garbage as delivered to the mile 24 facility, is what PASA will be paid on."

If you are worried how well the facility will run, the authorities say that it was well planned out, and it will be able to handle the city’s garbage problems.

Ariel Mitchell
"We’re expecting to have at least four to five trips to the land fill per day. That means that the facility in the short term will be handing from around one hundred tons to one hundred and twenty tons of solid waste that is being generated in the Belize City area, so in terms of capacity, we have that covered here."

The value of the completed works on the Belize City Transfer Station is estimated at 1.4 Million US dollars.

Channel 7

#469277 - 07/31/13 05:49 AM Re: The Future Of Your Garbage [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize Waste Management Plan, A Regional Leader

And so, while all the garbage from the City only makes a temporary stop at the Transfer Station, its final destination is at the Mile 24 Regional Landfill.

It is a new facility, at which work has been ongoing for some time now, and today, it was officially opened.

We attended the ceremony, where there were several speakers who explained how the country’s garbage will be handled.

One of them, the representative from IDB, told the gathering that this landfill puts Belize ahead of all the other countries in the region when dealing with waste management.

Javier Grau Benaiges - Representative, IDB
"Prior to this project there were no sustainable landfills in Belize, however, with today's inauguration - approximately 50% of Belize's population will benefit from proper disposal in a modern sustainable landfill. This puts Belize at the head of other countries such as Nicaragua, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic and Belize. This is consistent with the master plan of Belize for 2013 - Belize is now solving one of its main constraints in tourism growth and until now the solid waste management has made an impact in Belize's perception as a country, however, this perception is now going to change."

Tomorrow, we’ll have an in-depth look at how the facility will actually work.

Channel 7

#469284 - 07/31/13 06:19 AM Re: The Future Of Your Garbage [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Solid waste transfer stations open up across country

The ghastly dump site at the eastern entrance of the City has been transformed into a transfer station for waste that is produced in homes, businesses, factories and just about everywhere. After consolidating the waste and separating recyclable materials, the next step will be to transfer the garbage to another site at mile twenty-four for disposal.  The new system for waste management and disposal which took years to come to fruition was launched today to promote public health as well as sound environmental practices. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a report.

A few years ago, Belize City was regularly covered in the stench and darkness from soot rising from the burning garbage dump. The toxins and the garbage are no longer a mountainous heap of debris that once spilled into the sea or the highway. The mile three and a half facility has a clean road and is now a transfer station for garbage.

Dion Leslie, City Councillor

Dion Leslie

“The opening of this transfer station marks a very important milestone. It is the realization of a concept started over 20 years ago. A step in the right direction for our city. This compliments the vision of our mayor, and of the City Council. And in making Belize City the envy of all other municipalities in the country, and someplace we are proud to call home.”

According to the Director of the Solid Waste Management Authority, the transfer station is to consolidate smaller loads of garbage into a larger load for economic and efficient transportation to a sanitary landfill at mile 24.

Gilroy Lewis, Director, Solid Waste Management Authority

The trucks that collect the garbage in the city would come to the transfer station, enter the facility and dump their load on the tipping floor. Then they leave and go back to their collection route.”

In the absence of a transfer station, the collection vehicles would have to go all the way to the sanitary landfill and return.

Gilroy Lewis

Gilroy Lewis

“Just imagine how costly, so the transfer is a cost saving facility. Now coming back to the transfer station how it actually operates, once the garbage have been dumped to the tipping floor, we will have some workers that will be inside the building and pick up recyclables on the floor. Once those are recovered, then the residual garbage will be picked up by a front end loader, and it will be loaded through the chute into the transfer trailer parked adjacent building itself. When the transfer trailer is filled it will hauled to mile 24 sanitary landfill for an environmentally sound disposal.”

The group that runs the operation bid nine million to design and build the various facilities. There is also a cost of about sixty seven Belize dollars per metric ton when it reaches the landfill. Balers at the transfer stations are used for separating income generating garbage or recyclables.

Gilroy Lewis

“That baler will be used to bale those recyclables. Whether those be pet bottles or HDP bottles or paper or whatever the case may be. Now once the material is baled then we have the storage areas over there where baled paper is going to be stored here under the roof and the bale pet bottles, the HDP bottles glass bottles and so on would be stored and stored to recycling dealers.”


Jose Sanchez

“What’s the cost of running the facility. Do you foresee a profit? Or just to cover the cost that has been sown?”


Gilroy Lewis

“Basically as I have mentioned earlier in my speech the whole contract is a design build, operate contract. The operate portion is for eight years. And then I have indicated that it’s one firm PASA Belize limited that will provide the services to operate, haul and environmentally sound disposal of the waste once it reaches the landfill.


Reporting for News 5, Jose Sanchez.

There are transfer stations in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City, and in San Ignacio. All the garbage from each station is eventually transferred to the landfill at mile twenty-four on George Price Highway. In Wednesday’s newscast, we will have a report on that new facility.

Channel 5

#469345 - 08/01/13 05:53 AM Re: The Future Of Your Garbage [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

How Belize Got To Lead Region In Waste Management

Belize is leading the region in solid waste management. That’s what we heard yesterday from an IDB Representative – and it denoted quite a change, since, not too long ago, here in the city we were choking on the putrid scent of our own garbage – burning out of control day and night.

Now, there’s a transfer where that fetid dump once sat. Now, it will all be “transferred” to mile 24 on the Western Highway – which is quite a high tech location unto itself.

We were there for the opening yesterday and here’s what we found:..

Daniel Ortiz reporting
The newly opened Mile 24 Regional Landfill is like the Belize City Transfer Station, a vastly improved effort at dealing with waste. This facility has a total land space of 350 acres, and it is designed with the highest standards of garbage management. The clearing the facility measures about 5 acres of already cleared space, which will be used to dump the initial loads of garbage coming in. The other 345 acres will be cleared on a need-to basis to ensure that majority of the facility retains an untouched element of it to have very little impact on the environment which surrounds it. This Project, funded by the IDB and the Government of Belize, is designed with world-class standards in mind, and it will be able to accommodate waste coming from all parts of the country when fully activated.

Gilroy Lewis - Project Director, Solid Waste Management Authority
"This sanitary landfill is a engineered facility. It means that the entire process from site selection, design and construction was done in a manner that it will protect human health and the environment, especially ground water and surface water. The overall principle of the sanitary landfill, is that of confinement and containment, and what do we hope to contain? We hope to contain the emissions that are derived from the decomposing solid waste. The emissions, for the most part, are both liquid and gaseous. So once we are able to contain these emissions, then we will be able to manage these emissions properly."

So, what actually happens when garbage arrives at the site?

Gilroy Lewis - Project Director, Solid Waste Management Authority
"The incoming waste that will be entering this facility from the transfer stations, will enter at the site entrance there. When you came in you saw a way bridge, which is a scale so the trailers will and the trucks will just pass over that way bridge and then they will park on the way bridge and then the weight of the truck will be taken and then that will be recorded in the computerized system so as to determine the weight of the garbage that is being brought into the facility. When that is accomplished, the trailer will continue along the internal access road and you are all familiar with the quality of the internal access road; it's well built and it will come around here and then it will access the cell right at that point and then it will go all the way to the end there, and then the load will be discharged."

And every load of garbage will be neatly placed in pre-planned locations.

Gilroy Lewis
"That will be accomplished in specific pre planned sub cells, so in other words, it's not a hazard, it's not a haphazard operation. Where every cubic meter of garbage is going, that's already planned; there are sub-cells where each amount of garbage is going to be disposed, and once there, it's going to be compacted to the smallest volume possible in order to preserve the air space and thereby extending the life of the landfill facility. The compaction of the garbage will be accomplished by means of a D-5 bulldozer and we visualize that when phase one and phase two are completed, the final elevation of the land form would be around thirty seven meters. Currently where we are, we are around elevation thirteen to fifteen meters above sea level and then the landfill will go up to thirty seven meters, so we are talking of a height of between one hundred to one hundred and ten feet more or less."

The management of both water and gaseous emissions is the key to the success of this dumping facility. It has mechanisms in place so that no untreated filthy water will be dumped into the environment from the decomposing garbage.

Gilroy Lewis
"Whenever solid waste is decomposing, it produces a contaminated liquid; that liquid there is going to be collected by the stones that you see right there behind us, that is the drainage layer and then the bottom of the landfill is sloped in such a way that the liquid will flow towards the East, where there is a series of collection pipes that are perforated and that will collect the contaminated liquid and then convey it all the way to the South Eastern portion of the cell and there are some submersible pumps there that will then pump out that water, and then send it to the lagoons."

The water will be treated, and the Department of Environment will be testing to ensure when it is safe to be discharged to the environment after a 40-day interval.

With all these elements in place at the facility, the IDB says that Belize is leaps and bounds ahead of its neighbors when dealing with waste.

Javier Grau Benaiges - Representative, IDB
"Prior to this project there were no sustainable landfills in Belize, however, with today's inauguration - approximately 50% of Belize's population will benefit from proper disposal in a modern sanitary landfill. This puts Belize ahead of other countries in the region, such as Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic and the list could go on and on for Central America and the Caribbean. This, in terms of percentage of the total population that have access to solid waste treatment and proper disposal. No country, I can say this, no country in Central America or the Caribbean, has a sanitary landfill with a modern engineering designs and the modern technology for treatment that you can see here today at mile 24. Also consistent with the national sustainable tourism master plan for Belize for 2013 - Belize is now solving one of its main constraints for tourism growth. Until now the solid waste management has had a negative impact on Belize's image and the tourist perception of the country, however, with this opening, this perception is going to change."

The value of the mile 24 Regional landfill is estimated at 4 million US Dollars. The Authorities say that 2 million dollars was saved in the budget for the construction of this facility.

Channel 7


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